A Fortunate Man


My son is dying, dark eyes fever-flared,
He bravely smiles as we await his fate.
72 virginal houri abide
Visage veiled but vaginas revealed
Or 28 pre-pubescent puerile pearls
If such preferred, as promised by Hadith.
The vest bears down its weight and cumbrous heft
On fading heart of this my blessed scion
Compressing tread-marks of his final steps
On venerated path through ancient dust.
I watch now from this place to the bazaar
Where wretches beg and fallen angels profit.
Honour will be paid to me for loss;
Tribute will be brought and I will feast;
His act speeds my path when my time comes.
A muffled
rumbling roar of rage.
Still-twitching parts from those of lesser worth
Fragment and reek of vile impurity.
Clouded in blood-mist their blackened meat
Stains every desert star to crescent moon.
Lacerated limbs lance wall and roof
Mangling men reviled like scorpions loathed;
Unearthed rats bleed blinded by the flames
From Paradise, as porcine stench befouls
The gentle desert khamseen’s blessed breeze
Bearing joy to this most fortunate of men.

Thanks to Scriptor Obscura for recommending this reflective accompaniment, ‘Mazaar”. Sung here by Niyaz this old Afghani folksong is sung in Dari, a Persian dialect. The song includes a plea for all human beings to end suffering.

42 thoughts on “A Fortunate Man

  1. Extremely moving and well done. This piece has the flavor of Tahar Ben Jelloun’s dreamy, surreal descriptions of N. Africa desert-dwellers beliefs and mindset. It skirts madness and delusion with beauty…

    • Madness and delusion indeed emmy but its a great honour to be likened to the style of this prodigious scribe of the Mahgreb – you ma’am have made my day 🙂

  2. Beautiful and brilliant treatment of an obscurantist subject. You have given light to something most of us see as stubborn darkness. It’s the light of the fanatic though, blinding with visions that we see as hypocritical. Ignorance and blindness. Makes me too angry to write about it with your delicacy. Very well done. Would you mind if I reblogged this?

  3. Scriptor Obscura says:

    If you don’t mind, I thought of a song that sort of goes well with this poem. Its a really thoughtful song, really deep (and relaxing, I find) and gives us a lot to ponder. Just thought you might like it.

    Its called Mazaar, its by a group called Niyaz. The video is excellent. Amazing, beautiful. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SE86zZ0ui4

    • Scriptor Obscura says:

      You’re one of the few who would write about this, and who wouldn’t flinch when reading about it. Thanks. And thanks for your support. You’re very kind, Mike, you’re very kind.

    • Your suspended respiration has had a similar momentary effect on this poet who recognises an overwhelming compliment when he sees one Sarah. I thank you.

  4. Your poem has got me to reflect on this. I can offer myself explanations, but they fail to really giving a feeling that satisfies my bewilderment. In the end all I can think is that life must be terribly bad to bargain a son away. Thanks for the poetic consideration of your words.

    • Thank you for sharing your reflections Rowan. I too find it perplexing. I would seem that a small percentage of human beings are focused on their afterlife instead of their life.

    • Thank you Roxi – I was reacting to a news article at the time and as a father myself, felt more than a little perplexed by this Abrahamic element of the report.

Whaddya think?

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